As far as building an online presence is concerned, owning a well-structured website is essential. However, it is not enough to just make it and forget it. Without regular maintenance, you may not enjoy its full potential. And it could be affecting your SEO and your business.
Having a website and not maintaining it is like living in a house and not conducting routine repairs. It’ll only be a matter of time before the affected parts begin to deteriorate.
Regardless of the size of your website, how well you maintain it determines its value and usability. You want to make sure that your website is serving your audience optimally.
Website maintenance and SEO
There is a correlation between the functionality of your website and its ranking on search engines.
Search engines care about the overall experience of their users. Therefore, it’s no surprise that user experience would extend to the websites in their search results. Beyond well-crafted content, the health of your website is also one thing they look out for when it comes to rankings.
Having valuable content on a slow and unfriendly website can be counterproductive. Visitors want a positive experience. This experience includes everything from the quality of the content to the structure and functionality of the website. The bottom line is you cannot focus on one aspect and ignore the other.
Search engines are constantly evolving. For instance, in 2021, Google announced page experience signals as a new ranking factor on its search engine. These signals help Google measure its users’ perception of a website based on their interaction experience. This new system combines Core Web Vitals with pre-existing search signals — user-friendliness, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
With CWV, website maintenance is critical to improving SEO rankings, increasing visibility, and boosting conversion rates.
Maintenance is not a one-time thing
A lot can go wrong if your website is not maintained regularly. For starters, it can lead to slow performance that leaves your website undesirable to your target audience. Outdated plugins can cause issues over time. And an out-of-date WordPress installation can cause security issues. Of course, this would hurt your conversions and overall profitability. Think about all the missed opportunities a slow website can drive.
You should plan to have your website checked at least once a month. Depending on the size of your website, you can choose to have this weekly too.
The Benefits of website maintenance
You can get many benefits from conducting regular maintenance on your website. Some of these benefits include:
1. Improved security
A well-maintained website keeps hackers and bad bots away from your website. It includes regular site, server, and plugin updates. Security plugins, SSL certificates, and other security considerations can help protect a website from bad actors.
Why is this important? According to a survey by Hubspot, 82% of search engine users click out from websites that are not secure. Search engines like Google consider the security of websites as a priority.
Also, the security of your website impacts your rankings. Search engines consider a valid HTTPS certificate as a ranking signal. Any breach in the security of your website is a red flag — literally. Google will display a red interstitial warning page in the browser if it determines that your site has been affected by a security issue like hacking or malware.
The same goes for visitors. Regular website maintenance helps you flag any security breaches on time. Through it, you improve the security and protection of your website.
2. It Can Boost Website Traffic from Search
As noted before, Google now looks at page performance as a ranking factor by using a scoring method called Core Web Vitals. CWV scores performance, responsiveness, and visual stability. Depending on the severity of the issues, failing CWV metrics can impact the visibility of your website in Google Search. Beyond that, improved CWV is good for usability. —
In the words of John Mueller (the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google):
“Core web vitals is … more than a random ranking factor; it’s also something that affects your site’s usability after it ranks (when people actually visit).
If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, that traffic is not going to be as useful as when you have a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does).
CWV is a great way of recognizing and quantifying common user annoyances.”
Therefore, a well-maintained website is essential for SEO. Through regular website maintenance and performance enhancements, you’ll be able to keep tabs and improve your Core Web Vitals.
Google is not alone in using a page experience as a ranking factor. According to the Bing Webmaster Guidelines, Bing looks at page speed as a ranking factor.
3. Regular update and support
Website maintenance gives you access to routine updates and support. It helps to have systems in place if something goes wrong with your website. These updates and support include:
- Daily web server monitoring: Websites are susceptible to connection failures and server downtimes. If left unattended, this can affect the productivity of your website. A good website maintenance plan provides daily monitoring for your website server.
- Offsite backup: It is hard to recover deleted and overwritten website files. Your best bet is to have an offsite backup for your files as an added layer of protection. Daily website backup is one of the perks of regular website maintenance.
- Plugin updates: Plugins change over time. Having the latest versions of plugins ensures that they stay compatible with the latest versions of WordPress.
- Theme updates: A good theme development team will update their theme regularly. These updates take advantage of the latest versions of WordPress and improved markup. These updates ensure your website performs optimally.
- WordPress core updates: The team at Automatic updates WordPress core annually with minor updates and security patches throughout the year. These security updates keep bad actors from gaining access to your website.
Should you be doing your website maintenance?
Website maintenance is a complex and constantly evolving concept, better implemented by experts. When implemented wrongly, it can open up your website to several problems. And a faulty website can potentially affect your growth and profitability.
Maintaining a website’s health requires a certain level of skill and organization. It is in your best interest to outsource the job to skilled experts.
Benefits of outsourcing your website maintenance
Outsourcing your website maintenance to professionals is a wise decision for your business. It is beneficial for the for the following reasons:
1. It saves you time
Maintaining a website is time-consuming. And time is of the essence when running a business or an organization. It will be more productive to give your time to business and strategy development rather than website maintenance which is not your forte. Hiring a professional makes this a lot easier.
2. It reduces cost
Without the requisite skill, you risk recking havoc on your website when you attempt to maintain it by yourself. Most times, it will cost you a lot more to fix the issues that may result.
Also, hiring a full-time web developer comes with an overhead cost. In comparison, it is more cost-effective to outsource your website maintenance to an external agency.
3. It gives you access to top website professionals.
Outsourcing your website maintenance gives you access to experts who will dedicate their skills and experience to keeping your website healthy. They will usually have years of experience managing other websites as a plus. Such an experience will be beneficial to you too.
Our website maintenance solutions
At Papaya Search, we take great care first to backup the website and check the website after our updates for any issues.
Our software keeps a record of plugins we update. If there is an issue, we see what plugin version was changed and revert. Also included in our monthly maintenance report are the performance and security scans. If we ever catch a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket, and we address it before you ever know there’s a problem.
We also conduct security monitoring, visual checks, and daily backups to keep your website secured at all times.
You don’t have to do this alone
Website maintenance is key to a successful website. You can choose to do it yourself (and risk damaging your website), or you can outsource the service to a web professional (and save money).
At Papaya Search, we dedicated our time and expertise to ensure that your website is maintained and secured. We apply our years of experience and up-to-date strategies to give you the best.
If you’re interested in taking your website maintenance to the next level, we will be delighted to have a look at your website and develop a plan for you.